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Johann Sebastian Bach Essay

783 words - 4 pages

On the first day of spring, in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany, one of the greatest composers in musical history was born. Johann Sebastian Bach would live on, and distinguish himself in music history and would one day be among the most remarkable musicians who ever lived. Some would designate him as the greatest of them all (Pogue and Speck 24). He was born into one of the most extraordinary musical families the world has ever known. Bach was a devoutly religious man and was acquainted with tragedy. His first wife had died suddenly while he was away, and 12 of his 20 children died in infancy. However, he married again and three of his sons became significant composers (Johann Sebastian Bach). The features of Bach’s life, his styles, and his motivation contribute to part of Bach’s exceptional history.
At the young age of ten, Bach’s parents died, and he was sent to live with is brother, who was an organist. During his stay with his brother, he studied composition and learned how to play the keyboard on his own (Johann Sebastian Bach). After the death of his brother, Bach went to school in Luneberg and came into interaction with intense musical culture. It was there that he characterized himself as a viola player and a violinist. Moreover, before he was eighteen years old, he left Luneberg and was renowned as a master organist, clavichordist, and also a promising composer. Bach began his professional career playing the viola and violin in the court orchestra in Weimar. However, although he was not unhappy, the organ was his true passion. Subsequently, he was employed in Arnstadt where he wrote virtually all organ music (Carlson and Smith 32).
Bach’s musical style is baroque, and set apart from other music by simple motoric rhythms, steady changes of underlying harmony, and many notes. He extensively explored harmony and his catalogue of works number over a thousand (Hanford). Bach was one of the most talented organists, and people came from afar to see him play (Pogue and Speck 25). He excelled at counterpoint, which is the technique of writing or playing a melody in conjunction with another, in addition to fugue, a difficult contrapuntal musical form. The fugues and preludes Bach did for the keyboard are one of western music’s landmarks. Although Bach is...

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